Two-year course can set you up for agriculture career
The first of the HETAC-accredited courses on offer from Teagasc is a two-year course called the Higher Certificate in Agriculture, which is offered by three partnerships of Teagasc agricultural colleges and Institutes of Technology.
Students must apply through the CAO system and need passes in five Leaving Certificate subjects at ordinary level (grade D3 or better). The subjects passed must include maths and either English or Irish.
In 2010, the course requirement for most of the Teagasc/IT courses averaged around 280 points, a rise of some 40 points since 2009 applications.
In some cases, the points jumped from 'All Qualified Applicants' or AQA on the CAO system to 280 points.
As mentioned previously, students who hold relevant FETAC awards at Level 5 or Level 6 and mature students may also apply for the Higher Certificate in Agriculture.
In terms of job prospects, students who complete the higher certificate generally go on to careers in farming, farm management, environmental management and monitoring, sales and marketing, quality control and the wider agricultural industry.
Clonakilty College and Cork Institute of Technology combine to offer the Higher Certificate in Agriculture as course code CR010, while Kildalton College and Waterford Institute of Technology join forces to offer course code WD098. Ballyhaise College and Dundalk Institute of Technology offer it as course code DK685.
During year one, students spend four days a week at the agricultural college and one day a week at the Institute of Technology, while in year two they complete work placements in March, April and May.